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Waibel: RSL in discussions with two defenders

Matt Montgomery

Real Salt Lake is in discussions with two center backs, club general manager Craig Waibel said in an interview on official club podcast OnFrame on Tuesday.

Listen: Craig Waibel on ESPN 700

The road to signing a center back has been a rocky one, though, and despite attempting to sign a center back as early as December, Waibel said he's still working on an acquisition.

"It's been difficult," Waibel said. "We've been very thorough with our homework, not only on players, but on personalities. We need a leader in our back line, in the middle. There's no question."

Three times, the club has been close, having met those requirements but with the club failing to secure a final signature.

"The three players that we were deep into discussions with and had financial agreements with, all three of them were captains of their team," he said. "They were experienced players, vocal, confident, and the exact type of personality and good age group, all between 25 and 29, in order to come in and really contribute."

The delay each time, Waibel said, is because he's focused on bringing in a player with a long-term perspective. Still, he also says he's aware of the short-term needs of Real Salt Lake.

"We're being very, very careful, very methodical, and very succession-oriented in terms of our planning," he said. "We understand — and I in particular — I understand that the results today matter. We're not happy. In the end, we might be happy with a point, but not the way it happened."

Missing out on three players hasn't stopped Waibel from continuing the search, and he said he's already in discussions with two center backs, and that he has his "eyes on three or four more."

"We've already interviewed one face-to-face last weekend, and we've interviewed the other on the phone," Waibel said. "We'll continue to do our homework and see if we can reach an agreement. But the one thing we don't want to do with regards to our club is make a snap judgment or a panicked decision where we rush into signing someone who isn't what we want and what we need moving forward at the club."

Whatever happens with the next signing, Waibel said he's focused on building long-term success.

"We're in a great process of rebuilding," Waibel said. "We've picked up some very, very effective players that intend on being here for quite some time, and we don't want to go backward from there."